Standard 3

Course of Study, Fieldwork and Clinical Practice

The unit designs and implements a planned sequence of coursework and clinical experiences for candidates to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills to educate and support P-12 students in meeting state-adopted content standards. 

The unit and its programs offer a high-quality course of study focused on the knowledge and skills expected of beginning educators and grounded in current research on effective practice.  Coursework is integrated closely with field experiences to provide candidates with a cohesive and comprehensive program that allows candidates to learn, practice, and demonstrate competencies required of the credential they seek. 

The unit and all programs collaborate with their partners regarding the criteria and selection of clinical personnel, site-based supervisors and school sites, as appropriate to the program.

  • Through site-based work and clinical experiences, programs offered by the unit provide candidates with opportunities to both experience issues of diversity that affect school climate and to effectively implement research-based strategies for improving teaching and student learning.
  • Site-based supervisors must be certified and experienced in teaching the specified content or performing the services authorized by the credential.
  • The process and criteria result in the selection of site-based supervisors who provide effective and knowledgeable support for candidates.
  • Site-based supervisors are trained in supervision, oriented to the supervisory role, evaluated and recognized in a systematic manner.
  • All programs effectively implement and evaluate fieldwork and clinical practice.
  • For each program the unit offers, candidates have significant experience in school settings where the curriculum aligns with California’s adopted content standards and frameworks, and the school reflects the diversity of California’s student and the opportunity to work with the range of students identified in the program standards.

Due to its location in one of the most diverse regions in the state, Fresno State candidates have opportunities to work with students from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as students with disabilities.

Our Office of Clinical Practice and Advanced Credentials personnel work with districts throughout the region, both urban and rural, to ensure candidates have clinical experiences in settings with diverse students. In our basic credential programs, candidates experience at least two different school sites over the course of the program to ensure a variety of experiences with students, mentor teachers, and schools. Teacher candidates bring into their clinical experiences the theories and pedagogical frameworks studied in credential classes, including Culturally and Linguistically Sustaining Pedagogy. The FAST II assessment ensures that students create, teach, and reflect on unit design, adapting their teaching as needed in response to student needs.

Our clinical practice coaches are successful educators. To become a coach, potential candidates submit a resume and cover letter detailing their qualifications and are vetted by department committees. The Office of Clinical Practice provides an orientation/training for new coaches in the Education Specialist and Multiple Subject programs. Single Subject Coordinators work with new coaches in their disciplines. We hold regular meetings with our coaches and offer professional learning opportunities. Across the university, all instructors, including clinical practice coaches, are evaluated each semester by their students and also adhere to the review expectations of faculty at Fresno State, going through periodic reviews by Department and College Personnel Committees. 

We collect, analyze, and reflect on data associated with our efforts in educator preparation. Within Kremen, we hold Data Summits each semester to develop a school-wide commitment to continuous improvement. Sources of information related to teacher preparation include FAST scores, CSU/CTC surveys, and other information collected on our online database system TK20. We are in the process of changing to a new observation rubric for the SS and MS programs, which will provide another rich source of data related to teacher candidate development. 

Overall, our Office of Clinical Practice monitors these processes, keeping detailed records about students’ clinical practice experiences. Other personnel involved in ensuring our adherence to CTC guidelines are our Admissions Analyst and our Credential Analyst, both of whom work together to process all credentials offered through Fresno State. We meet monthly to collaborate on providing a high quality program to our students. 

The Advanced Credential programs have processes specific to the needs of their students. For example, our Speech-Language Pathology program uses a Cumulative Evaluation to provide proof of successful student experience with professional collaborative practice, multicultural aspects, linguistic diversity, and contact with clients with a range of severity/range of disorders. These evaluations also include average scores the student earned throughout the program in all standard areas of assessment. In all our Advanced Credential Programs, program coordinators and faculty monitor candidates, assure that all requirements are met, and provide the Credential Analyst with documentation that candidates have fulfilled all requirements to earn their credentials. 

Additional information is available through Program Review submission at http://fresnostate.edu/kremen/about/cctc/index.html